PT on the Net Research

Quick Fix for Festive Overindulgence


Question:

I'm a 52 year old female who wants to drop a pound or two in a week to fit into a dress. The problem is I have BLOWN it over the past three days eating holiday goodies high in sugar, fat, etc. What is best way to recover? Do I cardio my brains out (I can handle an hour or so on the elliptical, though I usually keep it around 30 to 45 minutes)? Should I do a juice fast? Should I lift? In short, what is the best (i.e., QUICKEST) way to get back to my pre binge weight? Lifting weights usually brings my scale weight down often more quickly than cardio, believe it or not. But how many hours (or days) can I continuously lift weight?

Answer:

The best way to shed a few unwanted pounds that have accumulated over the past few days is to go on a high protein diet. The deamination of protein produces ammonia, among other components. The ammonia breaks down into urea and then to urine. Thus, a high protein diet will tend to "dry" out a person or lean them up quickly. This is not a fail safe eating strategy to stay on for a long time. The drying out will cause one to become dehydrated in a short period of time. For this reason, you must drink in excess of 96 ounces of water per day. The only carbohydrates that should be ingested are those that have a low glycemic index. Low glycemic foods are hard to remember without a list because some foods that actually taste sweet are lower on the index than those that don't. For example, a sweet potato is much lower on the glycemic index than a normal potato. The general recommendation is to only eat carbs that are lower than 40 on the index and only eat enough of them to keep "sane." As previously stated, I truly feel that this type of diet should not be sustained for long periods of time. The problem is that you will not be able to stay on this type of eating strategy long, and when you go off the diet, you will tend to binge and put on as much weight as you lost.

As far as the workout strategy, resistance training is your best bet. Use heavy weights for low reps to avoid the "pump." Also, remember to stay away from carbohydrates for at least two hours after your workout to avoid the glycogen fill of the muscle tissues. With these tips, you should be fitting into the dress you did a few days ago... and maybe even one a little smaller.